Last year, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, the first in a planned series of animated feature films based on Roger S. Baum's Oz books, impressed neither critics nor audiences. With an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and a total worldwide gross of just $18.7 million (against a reported budget of at least $70 million), the film was, quite frankly, a flop. I've recently learned, however, that we may not have seen the last of the Legends of Oz franchise despite the failure of its first entry...
|Conceptual artwork for |
One of these film projects is what appears to be a second entry in the Legends of Oz film franchise, vaguely referred to in Inspirational Vision Media's joint venture plan (which you can read in its entirety here) several times as Back to Oz and once as Return to Oz. Per this plan shared with investors in the aforementioned LLCs, the newly formed company is looking to further exploit the Oz brand by releasing a new film with a "four wall, multi-media" marketing strategy that might also include apps and television projects. Because the wording in this plan is so vague, it is also possible that instead of (or even in addition to) producing a second Legends of Oz film, the company is simply planning to re-release the first film in some way, maybe even under a different title in an effort to "re-launch" the franchise. Either way, I think it's interesting that there is an effort being made to keep the Legends of Oz franchise alive (and to finally "generate earnings for the investors").
|Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return |
executive producer Greg Centineo
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return took almost eight years to make from development to release and failed to make back its budget despite a roster of "name" voice talent, a wide theatrical release, a decent marketing campaign, and a number of licensing deals and merchandise tie-ins; so personally, I'm not sure at this point if it's worth the effort or even possible to save the franchise, especially since IVM's plan suggests raising an additional $100 million from investors to do so. I guess time will tell if anything substantial comes from the forming of this company and if/how its plans for Legends of Oz materialize.
I'm curious, though, what do you think? Are you interested in seeing the Legends of Oz return, and, if so, how would you like to see the franchise move forward? Share your thoughts in the comments.
UPDATE: A "revised" plan for Inspirational Vision Media has surfaced, in which investors are assured that progress is making made in efforts to "turn around" the Oz franchise. Interestingly, Star Team, LLC is no longer a part of IVM, though IVM still holds the option to acquire it in the future. Revisions to the plan previously discussed include confirmation that there are plans (or hopes, at least) to re-release Dorothy's Return under a new title. Also confirmed is the intention to "generate a continuing flow of new content" from other books by Roger S. Baum. (Only seven of his books were initially optioned for development as feature films by Alpine Pictures, but IVM mentions ten.)